Kenyan (Mida) Schools
The term ‘Primary School’ means something different in Kenya in that students attending these schools are usually between the ages of 4 and 14 years, with, in certain circumstances, some students staying on until aged 18. This system, then, can cover the complete primary and secondary school age range in the UK system. Students who do well in their examinations at the end of primary school and can afford to pay the fees, then, progress to secondary school for another 4 years. This secondary education is seen as preparation for further education at University level.
Mida Primary School is located adjacent to the main Mombasa-Malindi Highway, between Arabuko-Sokoke Forest and Mida Creek. All students come from local rural communities with some walking several miles to and from school each day. The school has a student population of over 700 which is somewhat lower than it used to be due to the building of other primary schools in Mida district. Class sizes are large with student numbers of around 100 per class being quite common.
Mzizima Primary School is still a relatively new school having been set up within the last 10 years through a joint venture involving the local community and international tourists staying at local coastal hotels. There are now over 500 students attending the school and again all come from villages and homesteads directly adjacent to Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. As with Mida Primary school, all students come from farming families, producing all that they have to eat on plots of land called ‘Shambas’.
Mbarakachembe Primary School is a more established and much larger school with over a thousand students. It is located a little further away from Mwera Farm about 5 kilometres off the main highway between the local towns of Gede and Malindi. This school is also closer to the coast and some major hotel developments. The school site also boasts a secondary school that students can progress on to after completing Standard 8.
Mida Secondary School is the newest school being only a few years old. Again it has been built through collaboration between the community and local hotels and their tourist clientele. This school was built as the secondary provision for students from Mida, Mzizima and other local primary schools and is located on the Mzizima site very close to Mwera Farm. It is still very much in the development phase, with science laboratories being constructed in 2011. Mida secondary school will also have a significant responsibility for managing Mwera Farm and helping to coordinate development initiatives with the primary schools.
UK (Nidderdale) Schools
Nidderdale High School and Community College, St. Cuthbert’s Church of England Primary School and Glasshouses Community Primary School are all located within or close to the small market town of Pateley Bridge placed at the heart of Nidderdale in North Yorkshire.Fountain's Earth andRipley Primary Schools are located at the upper and lower ends of Nidderdale and serve the populations of the small village of Lofthouse and the Historic village of Ripley respectively. They have served the students and parents of this rural community for many years and are constantly looking for ways to engage with and educate students about the ‘global community’ beyond Nidderdale. This is particularly important as Nidderdale is a relatively remote region, by English standards, with the schools drawing from farming communities and hamlets in one of the largest catchment areas in England. Many of the educational projects that have been undertaken have drawn in representatives from the local community and hence have contributed to community cohesion both locally and internationally. One of the most positive and heartening aspects of the link has been the way that members of the wider communities in both the Nidderdale and Mida localities have welcomed, worked with and supported each other on the various linking projects.